Following the announcement of the move to Brooklyn, the New York Islanders seem to have been given a new lease on life. They are no longer doomed to leave the massive market they are currently in. Fans give a huge sigh of relief as well.
So where does the team go from here?
It is a given that we can expect the Islanders to honor their lease for the next three years in Nassau Coliseum. However, as a fan, I won't be blown away if Charles Wang and management find a way to sneak out of the lease early.
It had become a well known fact that free agents were shy to signing with the Islanders for two major reasons. First, the team had no secure future. No free agents looking for job security wanted to have to move in three years, when the lease expired, if they were to move out of state.
Second, the building the Islanders were currently in was on the bottom end of the facilities in the league. The team is also not currently a playoff contender.
With the future of the team now secure, there's every reason for management to begin spending on free agents again. Yes, they're stuck in the same old building for the next few years but there's no risk of the team up and moving far.
Furthermore, as the Islanders move out of Nassau, the lease agreement with the Barclays Center is probably more favorable than their current is in the Coliseum. While we haven't been given details of the agreement, you can be sure it's probably more than fair.
In turn, the new agreement, close to face value ticket prices and a new building all add up to one thing: higher revenues.
As we all know, higher revenues bring higher pay rolls and better players and therefore relevance.
A lot of fans question the spending policy of Mr. Wang, but he has proven that he was being honest about keeping this team on Long Island. The make or break for him as a team owner will be how he spends after the move to Brooklyn, but this all may be a fallacy. Offers have been made to top free agents—they simply had little desire to play here.
The fact of the matter is that the lack of the new building and future security has been plaguing this team since the 1990s. Any Islander fan is savvy on the sheer horrid treatment of this team at the hands of poor owners and management.
Well, the team and Mr. Wang finally have a brand new building and a secure future. Now the rest is on him to throw some cash at free agents, Garth Snow to make the best moves possible and the team to come together on the ice.